Deputies Arrest Cabin Burglar Armed with Makeshift Spear

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s office SWAT and crisis negotiation teams arrested a man Sunday after they say he barricaded himself in a cabin in Rhododendron and threatened deputies with a spear.

Nathan Alexander Surface.
Nathan Alexander Surface, 38, of Sheridan, Wyoming, was taken into custody after the hours-long standoff with law enforcement, which began at approximately 11 a.m. when deputies allegedly spotted him outside a cabin armed with a makeshift spear: a stick with a knife strapped to the end.

Police had been called to the area a report of two cabins being burglarized on Road 27 in Rhododendron.

The suspect reportedly approached a deputy and threatened him with the makeshift spear. The deputy radioed for backup, while Surface fled to an unoccupied cabin, where he was observed arming himself with an ax and knives and barricaded himself inside by piling items in front of the doors.

Surface then went around breaking the windows in the cabin and threatening to kill the deputies outside, according to the sheriff’s office.

Clackamas County’s special weapons and tactics and crisis negotiations teams were called to the scene.

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CCSO SWAT and Crisis Negotiations Team are working to safely resolve a situation with an armed suspect. There is no current threat to the public. Traffic on Hwy 26 is moving slow through Rhododendron where they are but the highway is not blocked. #SWAT #alert

For several hours, negotiators attempted to reason with the suspect, but he refused to speak with them. During this time, Surface could be seen breaking things in the cabin and swinging the ax, police say.

He also poured an “unknown liquid” inside the cabin, which deputies feared might have been a form of accelerant. Hoodland Fire was notified and asked to be on standby.

At about 5 p.m., the SWAT team deployed gas inside the cabin and finally convinced the suspect to come outside and surrender without further incident.

Surface was transported to an area hospital, then to Clackamas County Jail. He was booked on three counts of first-degree burglary and one count of criminal mischief. Bail was set at $130,000.

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